Community partners at both ends of Harrison Avenue join forces to support immigrants and refugees.
Discussing the art in Relay: Jeff Samet, MD, BMC Section Chief, with Sarah Kimball, MD and Ilona Anderson, Kingston artist. Photo by Alex Hua.
For our January All Members show, Relay, the members of Kingston decided to donate their share of the proceeds from artwork sales during the exhibition to the Boston Medical Center Immigrant & Refugee Health Program. We wanted to do something to offer support to vulnerable populations, and the clinic, at the other end of Harrison Avenue from the gallery, was an ideal choice. Their program serves approximately 700 patients from many countries across the globe, who have been displaced by war, trauma, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. IRHP serves the complex needs of these patients in a culturally informed and multidisciplinary setting, offering integrated mental health, case management (for HIV patients), women’s health specialty services and care coordination. In addition, IRHP is a designated screening site for newly arrived refugees in the Department of Public Health’s Refugee Health Assessment Program, through which the program provides initial screening, vaccinations, health education and connection to primary care. This work is incredibly important, now more than ever.
Staff of the BMC Immigrant & Refugee Health Clinic. L to R: Nicolette Oleng, MD, Sondra Crosby, MD, Sarah Kimball, MD, and Aissatou Gueye, NP. Photo by Alex Hua.
The Immigrant & Refugee Health Program is currently fundraising to host a full time New American Integration Program AmeriCorps member. This full time staff member would help newly arrived refugees navigate the complicated processes of applying for jobs, learning English, and applying for green cards, services which our patients need but are outside of the scope of what healthcare can traditionally offer. The current fundraising goal of $10,000 would support the first year of this program.
On January 12 Kingston hosted a fundraising evening for the clinic, bringing together BMC physicians, staff and researchers with gallery artists and friends. It was a great mix of energy and together we raised over $2500 for the clinic! Thanks to everyone who came out during the month to see the show, and special thanks to those who donated.